A Guide to Cambodia

A Guide to Cambodia

If you’ve ever wanted to visit Cambodia, DO IT. It is just one of the most beautiful countries in the world. The people are friendly, the food is yummier than expected and there’s so much to see and do. We spent almost a month travelling through the country, and here’s what we got up to.

After getting closer to nature in Laos, Cambodia heralded something new; Phnom Penh, our first big city in a while, Angkor Wat for some serious templing and a chance to go to the beach down at Sihanoukville. We were pretty excited about Cambodia, and it didn’t disappoint.

Best Meal
Oli: Probably this massive piece of carrot cake in Jars of Clay in Phnom Penh. It was massive, and delicious!
Lucy: Battambang — delicious crisp pork belly buns at Jaan Bai.

Worst Meal
Oli: Can’t think of one bad meal.
Lucy: Lok Lak! It’s a really traditional Cambodian beef dish….mine came swimming in a disgusting gravy with a rubbery egg on top. Gross.
slice of carrot cake

Best Place
Oli: Sihanoukville. Otres Beach is easily one of my favourite places we’ve been on the whole trip.
Lucy: I loved everywhere to be honest…..hard pushed to pick a fave, but Otres was basically paradise.

Worst Place
Oli: I guess it would have to be Kratie. Everywhere else we’ve been I’ve really liked. Kratie was a bit on the dull side.
Lucy: I agree with Oli! Although Kratie was genuinely nice, it wasn’t as epic as the rest of Cambodia. And we had a lot of bugs, rodents and the like in our rooms…….

What we wished we’d known at the start:
Oli: That Cambodia is awesome. The people are friendly and the sights aren’t bad either!
Lucy: I’ve read and heard a lot about how corrupt Cambodia is and that Phnom Penh is super dangerous — but honestly, we found it to be dreamy. That’s not to say there isn’t an issue, clearly it’s a big city with problems — I’m just saying don’t be scared off by the scaremongerers!

Best Experience
Oli: It sounds weird, but Tuol Sleng and Choung Ek killing fields. It will stay with me for a long time I think.
Also, on a different subject, Arsenal won the FA Cup while we were here.
Lucy: It’s too hard to pick just one! It was amazing getting to understand Cambodia’s dark history — particularly as it’s so recent and raw, so I agree with Oli on that.

I also bloody loved jumping off a boat into the BIG OLD OCEAN! Lifelong fear eradication? Tick.

Worst Experience
Oli: Probably the buses. They just take so much longer than they should!
Lucy: Yeah, the buses were soooo long and they play a heinous mixture of inappropriate movie (Apocalypto at 7am anyone?) and Khmer karaoke classics on full blast.

Books Read
Oli: The Thomas Berryman Number – James Patterson
Lucy: Guess? Marian Keyes – This Charming Man (I’ve already read it twice before!)

Lost
Oli: I think I may have kept hold of everything I brought with me.
Lucy: A bra. Very annoying as I only have one now.

Gained
Oli: Some more T-shirts, one of Tin-Tin.
Lucy: A gift for my friend Midge.

Most Useless Thing In My Backpack
Oli: Still those trousers. Cambodia is up there as the hottest place I’ve ever been.
Lucy: Still haven’t used my microfibre towels!

If you come to Cambodia you must try:
Oli: Not to drink too many 50cent beers. Sadly, I am guilty of not following my own rules.
Lucy: A yummy breakfast of various fried bread things — some have sesame and taro in, one looks like churros but isn’t sweet and one has icing sugar on and an egg inside! Great for long bus journeys.

WHAT WE SPENT

As always, our budget was £40 a day, which is $64. We spent just under $1000 in our 3 weeks, which works out at $49 a day, or £30.50.

Cambodia was on the cheap side (as expected), but the week we spent on the beach increased our spending.

USEFUL LINKS 

The Bird Man – for all your Tuk Tuk needs in Siem Reap and Angkor

SUMMARY

We haven’t universally enjoyed a country since India and to be honest, I’d say that Cambodia shares some of the same qualities.

A corrupt government and widespread poverty aside, the people are the friendliest we’ve met in a long time — and so smily. Also, the kids are the cutest you will ever see. We are already planning a return in the not so distant future.

We ❤️ Cambodia

L & O x

 

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How do you spend 19 days in Cambodia? Let me show you my favourite things to see, do and eat!

9 Comments

  1. CFA
    22nd July 2014 / 12:11 am

    Where did you stay in Phnom Pehn (out of curiosity)? Thanks! Loved reading about your journey through Cambodia.

    • Lucy
      Author
      22nd July 2014 / 11:04 am

      Hello, thanks of your comment and I’m glad you’ve found the blog useful! We stayed at a place called Narin in Phnomh Penh and loved it. It was £10 for a double with private bathroom and honestly, it was hotel standard but still a really cool, chilled guesthouse vibe. Great location too. L

      • Lucy
        Author
        22nd July 2014 / 12:10 pm

        *for your comment* whoops!

  2. Nicole
    23rd July 2014 / 4:27 am

    i loved island hopping off of the coast of Sihanoukville! Otres Beach is so beautiful, such a lovely beach! I loved Koh Rong’s long beach – a great place to camp on the beach and have space from other people! I fell in love with Cambodia and i’m so glad to read you guys love it too!

    • Lucy
      Author
      28th July 2014 / 8:49 am

      Ahhhhh I’m so jealous Nicole! We were a bit too lazy to island hop, but Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem ace both on the list for next time! What was camping on Koh Rong like? L

      • Nicole
        28th July 2014 / 6:43 pm

        my boyfriend and i were looking for lots of space away from other people, so we chose long beach. i believe it’s 6km(?) of white sand, turquoise waters, and few people. We preferred this part of the island because the very touristy side just seemed crowded. You could essentially pick a spot along the beach to set up a tent (we had our own), and either went swimming or explored the jungle! We just made small beach fires to cook our food, but there are lots of places where you can buy prepared food.
        We visited Februrary/March of this past year, and someone had opened up a zipline/ropes course! Totally worth the experience. The instructors were great, and provided us with an incredible view of the island! Islands like Koh Rong and Bamboo Island are places that have not been bought by huge corporations, so much of the original jungles and animals remain. Definitely worth a visit!

        • Lucy
          Author
          29th July 2014 / 9:56 am

          That sounds awesome, and so intimate….what a great idea for our next trip — thanks Nicole!

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